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education, employment, students

The New Unnoticed & Unemployables!

I belong to a new classification that is increasing rapidly.  The new educated, unemployable people who cannot find jobs. We are the unnoticed. As a history person, I do not know of a time in American history, when a person with an education could not find a job especially when actively searching for one.

How is this so?  I have a degree from one of the best colleges in the Nation?  I also have a Master’s Degree.  Regardless, I cannot find a job anywhere, although I have applied everywhere.  I am a teacher.  Not just a teacher, but “The Teacher of the Year” teacher, I received that prestigious award as a Black teacher in a White school district.  I have been asked about that honor many times.  “How did you achieve that award as a black teacher in a white school district?”

I replied, “My color did not matter.  It is about how good of a teacher I am. I did my teaching job the best way I knew how.  I received the award for being a great teacher.” But teaching is not about how good of a teacher I am. Teacher is all about money-not students as it should be.

School Districts employ millions of teachers across the Nation.   Teachers are professionals; but, certainly not treated as such.  In reality, teachers are pseudo-professionals. Pseudo means, “Not genuine-but having the appearance of.” Professionals are supposed to be valued, appreciated and compensated for their knowledge and experience.  In teaching, education is demanded and appreciated, but not compensated.

Take public education for example-K-12.  Better than ninety-five percent of teachers have college educations.  A good part of those teachers also have advance degrees.  School systems give teachers a specific amount of years after they are hired to earn their Master’s Degree. (Most schools do not offer educational reimbursement programs for teacher.)  If a teacher earns a Masters’ before achieving a continuing teaching contract in the school district, frequently that teacher will be RIFFED (R.I.F.-reduction in force) as soon as possible by the School District. This is another was of saying, the teacher is laid-off.

School Districts do not want to pay teachers the differences earned for obtaining a Master’s Degree.  The difference in salary is a substantial amount of money especially considering several teachers per year, achieve advance degrees. Therefore, School Districts recruit and hire new teachers, or beginning teachers.  Such teachers are paid considerably less saving the district money.

Unfortunately, beginning teachers are untested as teachers. The school district does not know if they have hired a good teacher or hired a problem.  These new or beginning teachers have little or no experience at all in teaching.  More importantly, such teachers have no classroom management skills. As a result, it is not uncommon to find classrooms where the teacher is sitting in the hallway.   The class is unattended because the teacher cannot handle the students. This is especially true in urban school districts and schools that have a high rate of special educational students, students with disabilities and students with free and reduced lunch .  When problems occur, principals, assistant principals or other teachers must stop what they are doing with their own students, to help the stressed-out teacher cope with students. This creates a bad situation for everyone.  Somewhere in the building, there are students that are not being attended to as a result of an incompetent teacher.

Teaching is not easy even for those of us who are gifted teachers.  Teaching is a talent-a gift.  Every person who has been a student knows of a teacher who should not have taught.  Teaching is very demanding and a time-consuming vocation. The public sees teachers as having the best of all worlds:Paid vacation days, snow days, holidays, teacher workdays, and summers off-right? Preposterous and absolutely erroneous!

Teachers rarely get all the work demanded of them done in the school day.  They are not sitting at their desks grading papers and doing lesson plans.  During the day, teachers are actively teaching students!  There is no time to grade papers, do lesson plans or even pee.  In most high schools and middle schools (won’t even talk about elementary teachers-wow!), there are three or four minutes between classes for students and teachers.  During these class changes, teachers have hall duties outside their classroom doors. When is there time in the day to grade papers or do other mandatory work? There is no time in the regular school day-except for a planning period or lunch.  After one goes to the bathroom, gets lunch-both are over.  This means all lesson planning, paper grading, test writing, entering of grades in the computers, talking to parents, talking to students and going to the potty, is done after school hours or; before school, weekends, holidays, snow days and of course summer vacations.

The tragedy of being a teacher is if one is RIF-ed because that teacher obtained an advanced degree, it is almost impossible to get another teaching job in any school district.  To add insult to injury, if that teacher has years of experience teaching, there is no chance he or she will ever work as a teacher anymore in any district.  Why? Because no school district wants to pay a teacher what they are worth.  Football players make millions.  Soccer players and baseball players’ salaries are just ridiculous. Basketball players make millions too, Lebron James is an example. I should be a small foreword for the Cleveland Cavaliers. But teachers! No district wants to pay them what a good teacher is worth.  Still, the teacher is the first blamed because of the ignorance of students. We all know one bad teacher can ruin a  lot of students quickly. Students are worth paying a good teacher?  A good teacher is priceless.  A good teacher reaches hundreds of students.  A good teacher makes the difference in how a student learns. A good teacher can change a student and their future. What is that worth to a parent and child?  But, school districts do not care. They see dollar signs-not students.

There are so many teachers like me. No longer able to find jobs to support their families.  They have too much education to teach and way too much education to get a regular, non-teaching job.  Tell me, how do we support ourselves? How can I help pay my children’s college tuition?  How can I help my husband pay the bills when half of our income is gone and the same bill remain?

There are charter schools popping up everywhere.  Many of these schools hire teachers for way less than they should be paid. These schools often demand that teachers do things that put their teaching certifications in jeopardy.  These schools ask teachers to do things that legitimate school districts would not ask them to do.  These teachers are dispensable. These schools know there is no market for “these” teachers.   Then, if a teacher does not comply, they are not hired or fired.    Many charter schools offer students excellent educations.  Many deliver much less.  Hundreds of charter schools fold around the United States everyday-only to pop up elsewhere.

In the meantime, I am about to lose my home, my car, phone service, one child had to drop out of college, my dignity and self-esteem.  I am fighting to retain all. It is an everyday battle.  My husband and I make too much to get grants and loans for our children’s colleges and too much for legal aid to help us keep our home.  Yet, we make too little to refinance our house or get a loans.  We have a non-lavish, country lifestyle where having a garden is a necessity to eat. We want to keep everything .  Certainly, we are not making nearly what our education substantiates. When in American History has a teacher not been in demand in America?


Nonetheless, I am a teacher.  I am a gifted and talented teacher.  Still, I am also a member of the educated unemployables.



22 thoughts on “The New Unnoticed & Unemployables!

  1. We sure have a well-educated unemployed corps, don’t we? The thing that kills me is that I can’t get a job in another field. I’ve been trying. I’m 44; my age (in addition to my face) makes me unattractive to schools, universities, and companies.

    And as you point out, if you are middle class, you don’t get a lot of help, and you have a lot to lose. You’re not just losing your pizza money, but the money you’d have saved to educate your own children. Now you can’t even do that. To top it off, the pain is not only financial, but also spiritual. You do a heckuva of a job making this case.

    I don’t know what happened to America. When too much education is a negative for a teacher (for anyone, really), something is dreadfully wrong.

    Hang in there.


    Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 1:56 am
    • Aww, someone that understands! I do not know where to turn. I feel my life is over. Hope things get better for both of us. Thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by birdyspeaks5 | October 7, 2014, 2:11 am
      • I guess all we can do is try to stay positive…..I was glad to read your post!


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 3:06 am
      • Do you have a blog? I could not find it. All I found was one about the Illinois fairs.


        Posted by birdyspeaks5 | October 7, 2014, 3:09 am
      • Just this one–http://midwestgemeinschaft.wordpress.com. I used to write about more personal stuff, but now I’m just a dilettante.


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 3:25 pm
      • I believe whatever makes one happy, is safe and legal-is what should be done.


        Posted by birdyspeaks5 | October 7, 2014, 6:30 pm
      • Your emphasis on legality puts a bit of a damper on it, but I agree!!!


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 6:32 pm
      • Absolutely true! However, the prospect of doing something I love and going to jail for it really stifles my creative sprit. Painting the cars of certain administrators I know a beautiful yellow or puke, neon green comes to mind! Could help my mood.


        Posted by birdyspeaks5 | October 7, 2014, 6:39 pm
      • But, surely, the faculty is a happy family! I agree that those ideas are tempting…


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 6:48 pm
      • I like the people I worked with for the most part, but they are not a cohesive faculty. With little time to talk to each other, common core make life miserable and the administration placing blame on teachers for any problems, no one feels comfortable any more. What State are you living?


        Posted by birdyspeaks5 | October 7, 2014, 6:55 pm
      • I’m in Illinois. I haven’t taught high school in about five years, and when I did, it was at private (Catholic) schools, which are common around here, but, as you point out, there was no cohesion among us. People were fighting for their jobs, and it got ugly. Teachers have so little say in anything….


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 7:09 pm
      • Oh–I’m in Illinois, in Chicago.


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 7:10 pm
      • I would think that Chicago would be more progressive toward teachers considering it is such a large city. Then again, money is money everywhere. The only people that are getting hurt are students and teachers; but few care as long as those that matter get their money. Does it sound like I am angry? I am not. I am mad!!!


        Posted by birdyspeaks5 | October 7, 2014, 10:56 pm
      • I am mad, too! I definitely understand. Chicago is progressive in name, but everything that can be is being privatized. So many of the haves are paranoid that other people–including teachers–are leeching off them. The disinformation is everywhere. Personally, I think much of it is caused by racism, though now the anti-tax zealots are even attacking city and state employees, a large and diverse lot, many of whom themselves are avowedly racist. I’m hoping they wake up. I don’t care if people dislike Obama, but if, for example, they think he raised taxes (when he in fact stopped Bush’s upper-income tax breaks) . . . perhaps they could have benefitted from a better education themselves. It reminds me of the movie “The Two Towers,” in which one of the characters, near defeated, laments, “What can one do against such hate?” Today, I often think, “What can one do against so much bad faith? And lying to one’s self?”


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 8, 2014, 3:57 am
      • I agree with you. People want to find someone to blame and Obama is that person.. I helps that he is black because black people are not really people. Well, they need to be educated. One person, even if he is the President of the United States, just does not have control of everything wrong or right in the country. Because he is black he lacks. Indeed, racism is the root of the fear. The fear truly is that people will have too accept others who are different them they are. As long as white American, Black American, Hispanic American, Asian America etc… act as separate ingredients from each other-this country will continue to be as they are. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the hatred that ails America. Our schools are our only hope for the future. Thus, teachers are vital. Because schools are being controlled and censored, they cannot educate the future of students to bring about the change needed to solve the problems. The question still remains, “How do I get a job to feed myself and my family if the educated cannot find a job?”


        Posted by birdyspeaks5 | October 8, 2014, 3:12 pm
      • Funny how that pesky “I need to make a living” issue keeps coming up. It comes up for so many Americans. When do we reach the breaking point? Individually, we’re already there.


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 8, 2014, 8:49 pm
      • You mind me asking which state you are from?


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 6:33 pm
      • Good question. Currently, Ohio.


        Posted by birdyspeaks5 | October 7, 2014, 6:40 pm
      • Ah, ok. Ohio (the legislature, at least) is tough on teachers, from what I have heard.


        Posted by dermotinillinois | October 7, 2014, 6:49 pm
  2. Reblogged this on Lightning Chronicles and commented:
    It is true, sad and unforgiving how we allow the dollar amount to destroy people’s lives.


    Posted by agmoye | October 23, 2014, 3:57 pm
  3. Wow. This is heartbreaking! Are you applying in predominately black or white school districts? I keep reading that we, as a nation, are in great need of black teachers so that black students aren’t constantly seeing only white authority figures in their schools. I hope that you are able to find employment in a school that values you.


    Posted by where we are | January 24, 2015, 5:48 pm
    • I have pretty much given up on ever finding a job in education primary because I am a black teacher. School districts are just pulling the wool of everyone’s eyes:lying to students. Most districts DO NOT want minority teachers. They do not want their students to be taught by someone different than their norm. I have learned that most white parents do not want their children to learn about other cultures for fear they might marry outside of their race. There are plenty of black teachers looking for jobs who cannot find them. You see, black teachers are the last one hired; therefore, they are the first ones fired (RIF). RIF=Reduction In Force. If teachers have a Masters Degree, no one will hire them because they would have to pay them too much. The favored teacher most Disticts want is the white, female, young inexperienced teacher. Such teacher is the exact one that cannot control a classroom full of students. Most of the time those teachers are afraid of the students. As a result, there is no classroom management;therefore, there is limited learning going on because of the chaos in the classroom.

      Education is a mess today. Districts constantly graduate culturally ignorant students who know little about the world around them outside of their own world. I am a great teacher, but I cannot find a job. So I substitute for sixty dollars a day. At that rate, I will remain destitute. Black students are accustomed to being taught by white teachers. Thank God they have authority figures in their lives at church and other places. If black students have to wait for black authority figures in schools, it will never happen. Sad… so sad. School districts have misplaced values. Because of this, I will probably never work again as a teacher with my own classroom.


      Posted by birdyspeaks5 | January 24, 2015, 7:38 pm

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